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After decades, Iran, Iraq ready to dredge the Shatt al-Arab

Iran and Iraq hope to revive the Shatt al-Arab as a source of clean water as well as a generator of increased commerce and tourism.
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Hope of restoring a clean water lifeline to Basra province is on the rise again with plans by the Iraqi and Iranian governments to revive the Shatt al-Arab as a source of drinking water and improve its functioning as a trade route.

Representatives from Iraq and Iran met May 19 in Khorramshahr, Iran, situated on the waterway, to discuss a clean up of the river on the basis of the Algiers Agreement (1975), establishing joint control and designating the Taluk line, marking the deepest part of the river, the countries' riparian border. Iraqi former President Saddam Hussein abrogated the treaty in 1980 and cited disagreement over control of the river as one of the reasons for invading Iran that year in what evolved into a devastating eight-year war (1980-88). Prior to the agreement, Iraq claimed control over the entire river.

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